GOSHEN — Tuesday’s primary election served as the first use of vote centers by the county since the concept’s adoption earlier this year, and county election officials Wednesday officially designated the election a success.
“Overall it went really well,” said Elklhart County Election Board Chairman Wayne Kramer of the election Wednesday morning. “We had some normal startup errors in the morning, but they were not unlike the errors we’ve had in previous elections. I also went out and visited a few of the vote centers during the day, talked to some of the voters, and the consensus was that people really appreciated the convenience of the vote centers and enjoyed using the touchscreens, contrary to what I think a few people were thinking going in. So overall I think it was a success.”
According to Elkhart County Clerk Wendy Hudson, the final turnout for Tuesday’s primary came to just 15.05 percent of voters, though that number does not include any provisional ballots cast during the election.
“So we won’t have final results until after the 16th, which is the deadline to handle anybody that got a provisional ballot,” Hudson said. “But right now it’s looking like it was a little over 1 percent less than 2010, so it’s not off by a lot.”
When asked what may have been behind Tuesday’s low turnout, Hudson said it is always hard to pinpoint exactly what motivates people either to vote or stay home, though she did say that this election in particular did seem to have a bit less hype than some of the county’s previous elections.
“I just don’t think there was a lot of hype that got people interested,” Hudson said, noting that many of the races for both the Republicans and Democrats were uncontested. “The public questions brought people out, so that was good, but some of the countywide races, I’m just not sure that everybody was all that interested in them, which is sad.”